Shonal bags third series title
It has been a week of celebrations for Oman motorsports. Be it the career-best overall seventh-place finish of Al Faisal al Zubair in Porsche Supercup, or Ahmad al Harthy and his teammates' Pro-Am class runner-up finish in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, or 15 year old Shihab al Habsi winning two races in the F4 SEA Championship. And adding sparkle to the success of the Omani racing trio is the latest achievement of Muscat-based go-karting champion Shonal Kunimal.
The seven-year old from India has had a terrific season, winning races after races and concluded his most successful season on Saturday, when he clinched his third overall series title by emerging the winner of the 2018-19 Dubai Bambino Cup at the Dubai Kartdrome.
The Indian School Ghubra-International student had earlier won the 2018-19 UAE Rotax Max Challenge Series in Bambino class and claimed the top honours in the 2018-19 IAME X30 UAE Series last month.
On Saturday, Shonal completed a hat-trick of titles in the season as he won the 2018-19 Dubai Bambino Cup with a dominating performance in the fifth and final round. In fact, Shonal had swept through all the five rounds in the series.
On Saturday, he missed the first time-trial due to engine failure. But Shonal bounced back after resolving the engine issues as he won the next three time-trials with a best lap time of 1:15.408 on the 1.25km circuit.
After five rounds, Shonal's garnered 200 points, 31 more than his nearest rival Anthony Joe Khalil (169). Nicholas Kimi Stura (158 points) came third.
Since October, 2018, Shonal has remained undefeated in the Dubai Bambino Cup, a series where he was making his debut.
The five rounds also included the Dubai 'O' Plate championship, which was also won by Shonal but in the final tally, the points of ‘O’ Plate were dropped.
Dubai Kartdrome manager David Bright said, “Congratulations to Shonal for winning the championship; he has a promising future in racing.”
After the prize-giving ceremony, Shonal said, “I would like to thank WMS (Al Wahaibi Motor Sports) and GPX Academy for supporting me throughout the IAME series and Dubai Bambino Cup. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to my coach Sanad al Rawahi.”
Earlier this month, Shonal was presented a glittering trophy at the UAE Rotax Max Challenge Awards Night held at Radisson Blu in Al Ain, UAE, for becoming the Bambino class champion.